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  #1  
Old 08.12.2012, 13:43
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Public Sector workers dragged kicking and screaming into the real world...

And about time too:

Automatic pay rises for teachers abolished

I can see the rest of the working populaton of Britain crying into their pints at this news...
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Old 08.12.2012, 14:06
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Re: Public Sector workers dragged kicking and screaming into the real world...

So how does one evaluate a teacher's performance without being subjective?
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Old 08.12.2012, 14:13
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Re: Public Sector workers dragged kicking and screaming into the real world...

One of the Heads I worked for was football and rugby mad - so he gave extra money to the men teachers who organised such activities/matches after school and week-ends, not for academic excellence or for enthusing kids for their studies. Female PE teachers who spend as much time running gym, netball etc, didn't Subjective indeed.

Who is going to go into teaching if teachers are not valued. You get what you pay for (within a proper framework of continuous assessment). They might all give up and come and work for private schools in Switzerland ...
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Old 08.12.2012, 14:44
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Re: Public Sector workers dragged kicking and screaming into the real world...

Come on people! It takes you now more than one hour to start a teacher bashing campain?!?! This forum is getting dull.
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Old 08.12.2012, 14:53
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Re: Public Sector workers dragged kicking and screaming into the real world...

I'd like to hear the opinion of any UK teachers who have taught inner city classes of 32+ for a period of 20+ years

Not sure if there are any others apart from me. I stopped after 20 years, I'd given it my all but just couldn't do it anymore. Of course some stopped a lot longer before that ...

Last edited by Odile; 08.12.2012 at 15:51.
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Old 08.12.2012, 17:31
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Re: Public Sector workers dragged kicking and screaming into the real world...

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I'd like to hear the opinion of any UK teachers who have taught inner city classes of 32+ for a period of 20+ years;.
Talk to yourself, all the others are dead of exhaustion.

But DougalsB. gives a wonderful opportunity to have a real rhetoric battle with blood and mood, it's a shame nobody picks it up really.
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Old 08.12.2012, 17:44
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Re: Public Sector workers dragged kicking and screaming into the real world...

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So how does one evaluate a teacher's performance without being subjective?
Same as one evaluates any other employee's performance. Some managers are good at it, some managers are terrible at it.

But I can't think of a single good reason why one group of workers, in a time of austerity, should earn a pay rise just for turning up for work with local authorities (or rather, hard pressed council tax payers) footing the bill.

England simply can't afford such luxuries any more.
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Old 08.12.2012, 19:29
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Re: Public Sector workers dragged kicking and screaming into the real world...

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Same as one evaluates any other employee's performance. Some managers are good at it, some managers are terrible at it.

But I can't think of a single good reason why one group of workers, in a time of austerity, should earn a pay rise just for turning up for work with local authorities (or rather, hard pressed council tax payers) footing the bill.

England simply can't afford such luxuries any more.
Well, one reason might be -- and was, in the case of teachers -- to help reduce the numbers leaving the profession prematurely. Compared with almost any other group of local authority workers, teachers have an expensive and lengthy period of training. They also had a much higher rate of departure, given that it is such a wearing and thankless job. So in fact, the much-improved pay scales agreed began back in the 90s I think, had a much smaller impact on net expenditure on teachers than people might think, as the churn rate slowed down.

Of course, an automatic pay rise per se is nothing to get so exercised about. Depends a lot on just how much the increases are, and how the salaries compare with similar professions (in terms of training / expertise etc.). I've had only 4 pay rises in the past 10 years but the ones i have had have been really quite significant -- much more than the sub-1% type rises my civil servant brother gets -- if he gets anything.

Just speculating now, but I'm wondering if the government's hope is that teacher numbers might start to drift down again. Without compulsory redundancies this would be a much cheaper and less fractious way of saving money. No doubt it will be carried out under the guise of promoting higher standards of education. Alternatively, in a time of austerity, the government might be calculating that the reduction in living standards might be seen as 'a price worth paying' by disaffected teachers if the alternative is the uncertainty of the private sector job market.
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Old 08.12.2012, 19:41
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Re: Public Sector workers dragged kicking and screaming into the real world...

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Same as one evaluates any other employee's performance. Some managers are good at it, some managers are terrible at it.
The question was how you evaluate performance without being subjective, but I'm not sure that "some managers are terrible at it" is a great answer.

It's easy enough to evaluate the performance of a sales person or delivery driver or widget assembler. With teachers it's much harder. At one point it was decided that league tables and exam results would be a reasonable metric but now we seem to have concluded that improved exam results are not a reflection of improved teaching but of exam questions becoming easier. So the question remains how we evaluate teacher performance. If you've known schools and teachers who have undergone OFSTED inspections you will know that these methods are horribly arbitrary and inconsistent. It's a tough one.

Edited to add -- by the way, I am not a teacher and never have been but my sister was a teacher for 20 years, and my two main drinking buddies back in London are weary middle-aged teachers, so naturally I get to hear about this quite a lot. I also accept that I probably get a fairly one-sided account.
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Old 08.12.2012, 20:03
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Re: Public Sector workers dragged kicking and screaming into the real world...

same as any other job:

- objective performance metrics (test results, improvements in results)
- evaluation by managers
- 360 feedback from the kids (would love to see the Teachers' faces when that one is proposed)
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Old 08.12.2012, 20:04
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Re: Public Sector workers dragged kicking and screaming into the real world...

All the above already done by Ofsted. Including interviewing children.

So UK can afford for huge corporations to pay no or little tax in UK, but can't afford to pay teachers a little extra for seniority and experience (within regular Ofsted assessment).

The UK can afford to have poorly paid and respected teachers- with the resulting poorly educated kids which turn into unemployable adults. Great progress indeed. Hurrah.

When I suggested to my daughters they could opt for teaching, they laughed so much and asked if I was totally mad. They grew up seeing the long hours put in preparation, marking, reports, etc. They'd seen their mum suffering from exhaustion - and sometimes in tears of despair. And they'd seen the salary - apart from the few years I was a Senior teacher in charge of 3 departments (I went back to mainscale after a few years as I wanted to teach, not be a manager). Our oldest works hard as a partner of her financial firm, and earns more than 10X the salary of a teacher- but she says teaching classes of 32+ teenagers must be 20X more stressful).

Pachyderm said it so well - easy to assess sales and manufacture - but teaching is much more complex, and subjective. Ofsted already does that as well as possible. Give me one country btw where teachers are not partly paid on seniority and experience, as well as performance?

Last edited by Odile; 08.12.2012 at 20:19.
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Old 08.12.2012, 20:25
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Re: Public Sector workers dragged kicking and screaming into the real world...

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Give me one country btw where teachers are not partly paid on seniority and experience, as well as performance?
England.

I'm afraid the hard work argument won't wash with the majority of the country's council tax payers, given that most people work bloody hard for pretty crap salaries, five weeks holiday a year and no automatic pay rises just for not quitting. Teachers work hard, but shouldn't expect special treatment when others are having it equally - or more - tough.
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Old 08.12.2012, 20:58
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Re: Public Sector workers dragged kicking and screaming into the real world...

But absolutely fine for big corporations not to pay tax in the UK?
How is that right? And why should the UK put up with it?

Strange priorities. Have you served the 20+ in an inner-City state school in the UK with classes of 32+ ? Honestly, have you? This may sound personal - but in this instance, personal experience is very relevant - unless you've been there long-term, it is hard to fathom what it is like.

My last school was indeed close to green fields, surrounded by a huge council estate and a big Bangladeshi community - with all the most able kids creamed off by the Catholic school and the private Grammar school. And the State boarding school was for the lower rank soldiers serving abroad - a bit different to Eton or Charter House. Previously I taught in several State schools in one of the most multicultural towns in the UK.

Last edited by Odile; 08.12.2012 at 21:15.
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Old 08.12.2012, 21:05
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Re: Public Sector workers dragged kicking and screaming into the real world...

Odile: me and my work experience are irrelevant to this thread, but since you want to make it personal, you might want to think about exactly how "inner city" your last school actually was - being located in green fields on the edge of a market town, so "inner city" that it had its own boarding residence!

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Old 08.12.2012, 21:10
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Re: Public Sector workers dragged kicking and screaming into the real world...

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- objective performance metrics (test results, improvements in results)
That is the performance of the students, not the teachers'... mixing the two up is a golden gate to fallacy paradise.
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- evaluation by managers
The question is who are managers in education... school bosses and half-bosses? Well... to what extend should any profession be evaluated by people from another profession, because administration and teaching are two different worlds. Teachers are not asked to evaluate administration either.
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- 360 feedback from the kids (would love to see the Teachers' faces when that one is proposed)
We already do that, even in Basel, even evil arrogant Faltrad does it - realistic number is rather 30 to 40 though for a teacher, larger numbers only for evaluation of a course with all students of a grade involved. Learning how to interpret student feed back is however a science that must be taken seriously in order to avoid yet another golden gate to fallacy paradise. Let's say that teenagers live in a world with a different culture. Culture shock and cultural misunderstanding included.

But teacher bashing is fine too.
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Old 08.12.2012, 21:19
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Re: Public Sector workers dragged kicking and screaming into the real world...

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a big Bangladeshi community
God you must've loathed it.
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Old 08.12.2012, 21:23
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Re: Public Sector workers dragged kicking and screaming into the real world...

Re: the sneaky edit.

You might convince anyone else reading, but knowing the school well, having visited, read the Ofsted reports and handled ethnicity statistics, I'm going to cry "bullshit".

Now, how are you going to persuade Mr Chowdhury, working a 50 hour week in a halal meat processing plant for way less than an entry level teacher earns, that his crippling council tax bill should go up so someone else can have an automatic, non-performance related payrise?
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Old 08.12.2012, 21:26
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Re: Public Sector workers dragged kicking and screaming into the real world...

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Now, how are you going to persuade Mr Chowdhury, working a 50 hour week in a halal meat processing plant for way less than an entry level teacher earns, that his crippling council tax bill should go up so someone else can have an automatic, non-performance related payrise?
Maybe Odile feels that as a wanton animal abuser he should some sort of a special tax to compensate teachers for their 6 week summer break.
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Old 08.12.2012, 21:27
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Re: Public Sector workers dragged kicking and screaming into the real world...

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Now, how are you going to persuade Mr Chowdhury, working a 50 hour week in a halal meat processing plant for way less than an entry level teacher earns, that his crippling council tax bill should go up so someone else can have an automatic, non-performance related payrise?
That's easy: He has to do it because the big companies legally don't pay taxes for it so he has to do it. We'll see against whom he is more p!ssed off.

Positive prejudice here : My experience tells me that the respect for teachers from somebody called Chowdhuri is likely to be far higher than average.
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Old 08.12.2012, 21:30
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Re: Public Sector workers dragged kicking and screaming into the real world...

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That's easy: He has to do it because the big companies legally don't pay taxes for it so he has to do it. We'll see against whom he is more p!ssed off.
Big companies don't pay tax in countries where they don't make a profit. The exception being Starbucks of course whose taxes on a loss making balance sheet paid for 2423 teachers for the last 3 years.
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